Kathy Oliver is Chair and founding Co-Director of theInternational Brain Tumour Alliance(IBTA), a global network founded in 2005 as a dynamic worldwide community for brain tumour patient organisations and others involved in the field of neuro-oncology.
Through the IBTA, Kathy is involved in advocating for equitable access to new brain tumour therapies; encouraging the establishment of brain tumour patient and carer support groups in countries where they don’t yet exist; and raising awareness of the challenges associated with this devastating disease.
Kathy also participates in a range of high-level projects and committees addressing brain tumour and rare cancer issues in Europe. She is a frequent plenary and session speaker at international neuro-oncology and cancer conferences.
She serves as one of two patient advocates representing Rare Diseases Europe (EURORDIS) on the recently-established European Commission Expert Group on Cancer Control.
Kathy was the Patient Issues Editor on the Editorial Board for the online magazine of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO), and is on the organising committee of Rare Cancers Europe (RCE). She is Vice-Chair of the European CanCer Organisation Patient Advisory Committee (ECCO PAC) and is also a member of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Patient Advocacy Working Group (PAWG). Kathy participated in the British Neuro Oncology Society’s National Guidelines Group for Rare Brain and CNS Tumours and on the Rare Disease UK Working Group on Patient Care and Information.
She is a founder member/former board member of Cancer52, the UK umbrella group for 80 rare cancer organisations and serves on the NCRI (UK) Brain Tumour Clinical Studies Group sub group on Palliative Care and Quality of Life. Kathy is also a consumer representative for the Cochrane Neuro-Oncology Group (UK) and is a member of the Council of the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS). Additionally, she is the Co-Chair of the Project Advisory Board for the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI).
Kathy is an ex-freelance journalist and edits the IBTA’s annual magazine,Brain Tumour, of which approximately 14,000 copies are printed and distributed for free to recipients in 111 countries and at neuro-oncology and cancer conferences.
Kathy’s son, Colin, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004 at age 24 and passed away, at age 32, in August 2011. She cites her son’s “incredible courage, determination and fortitude” as the driving force and inspiration behind her involvement in the international brain tumour and cancer community.